> US SAILING Media > Sailor of the Week > 2009 > Sailor of the Week - September, 2009 > Andrew Baransky
Sailor of the Week: Aug. 27 - Sept. 2
Seventeen year old Andrew Baransky of Dix Hills, N.Y. took a crash course in regatta management earlier this summer… And he did so, for a great cause. Andrew and a small group of young volunteers launched a successful fundraising regatta on July 10, 2009, at the Narrasketuck Yacht Club and the Unqua Yacht Club in Amityville, N.Y. Andrew, chairman of the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) “Sail for the Cure” Regatta, helped raise over $7,400 for the DRI through sponsorships and donations. Over 50 boats competed in the first-ever DRI Regatta for youth sailors.
The regatta consisted of boats from a number of classes, including Blue Jays, Lasers, Optimists, Picos, 420s, and Vanguard 15s. They set up two courses: one for the Optimists and all other boats raced on the other course. Andrew was also proud of the fact that they had an outstanding 1:4 ratio of safety boats to competing boats.
Following a skippers meeting that morning, the kids had five races that day. After lunch, they de-rigged their boats and went over to the Narrasketuck Yacht Club for an after-race party, where awards and prizes were given out. Andrew had a friend of his come in with his band, so the kids had live entertainment during the party. During the ceremony, Andrew was awarded with a certificate of merit for the efforts he put forth in creating and organizing the DRI Regatta.
“I was so proud to be able to say that I was the chairman for such a great event, which raised so much money for such a great cause,” explained Andrew. “And the main drive I had for doing this was my desire to make a difference in the fight against diabetes.”
Andrew’s grandmother has diabetes. So, the effects of this disease are close to his heart. He started fundraising efforts for diabetes when he was in the sixth grade. Diabetes is a chronic disease marked by high levels of sugar in the blood.
“I learned so much by running this event,” he added. “I learned about logistics, statistics, budgeting, and my committee and I had to learn how to deal with people in a business manner.”
Andrew started sailing Opti’s when he was nine years old. Although his father motivated him to learn after taking a crash course in sailing 15 years ago, Andrew is the only competitive racer in the family. He’ll be a senior at St. Anthony’s High School, and sails on the varsity team. Andrew enjoys both cruising and racing.
“Nothing is more relaxing to me than being on a sailboat,” said Andrew. “The racing part of it can be a little nerving sometimes, but it’s something I will always do.”
Andrew attended a Navy Sea Cadets training camp this summer, with aspirations of attending the U.S. Naval Academy after graduating from high school.